Horror games are scarier in FP view
Agree
69.7% (101)
69.7% (101)
Disagree (give example)
30.3% (44)
30.3% (44)
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Poll: Horror games are scarier in first person

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The Silent Hill, Fatal Frame and Forbidden Seires series beg to differ.

Effective horror has everything to do with mood, setting, storytelling, pacing, timing... basically a lot of things you can do in any point of view. All of those things I listed > than perspective. First person can be a good platform for horror (Amnesia comes to mind.) It can also fail fairly badly in the horror department (doom 3... just because I can't see doesn't make me afraid... I don't have fear of the dark, and that's really all it went for.) But the same is true for 3rd person. Eternal Darkness was good enough to have me thinking about it after the console is off... an indicator of good horror. Same with a couple of Silent Hills. But in the hey day of resident evil and silent hill knock-offs (ps1-ps2 era) there were plenty of 3rd person games that didn't deliver on the horror. Perspective just isn't that important of a factor.

Ryan Hughes:

I have said this before in these forums, but horror is never about the monsters or the lame
jump-out scares, true horror forces the player to face their own internalized fears and bring
them to the surface as a form of catharsis. The current misunderstanding of what horror is has
lead to many people believing that films like "Human Centipede" are frightening, when in fact,
they are little more than childish excursions into sadism.

Ryan Hughes:

A scare is putting a snake in a cupboard and having it jump out at some point. Fright is being
chased by an army of snakes. Horror is being convinced that it is possible that you may very
well be a snake.

"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering... fearing... doubting..." - Edgar Allan Poe

Waiting... in anticipation, for the jump scare that will never come, and then I read Hughe's comments. He evoked a overwhelming, paralysing dread in me.

I shall not sleep easy tonight, because of the implication Ryan postulated. The unutterable truth that there is no horror without man. That to find horror I need not look further then within, a place that I regard as the most unfamiliar of destinations.

To revel in that fact would be to betray those fragile, comforting lies we eagerly (perhaps even knowingly) call reality. To renounce everything that allows humankind to survive in uneasy coexistence with his peers. To be free to disregard the thinly-veiled trapping of niceties we call morals, ethics, and humanity. Knowing that anyone of you can become the most depraved and craven beasts of all, acting out you darkest impulses and satisfying your secret appetites.

I have not experienced horror such as this... AND I LIKE IT!

I must give a very lukewarm "Depends". Maybe I've been brainwashed by Resident Evil but I find fixed camera angles incredibly unnerving, and for that you need 3rd person perspective.

Ryan Hughes:

lacktheknack:

Ryan Hughes:

That aside, since Silent Hill 2 is the most frightening game ever, the first-person theory really has no legs to stand on.

I have said this before in these forums, but horror is never about the monsters or the lame jump-out scares, true horror forces the player to face their own internalized fears and bring them to the surface as a form of catharsis. The current misunderstanding of what horror is has lead to many people believing that films like "Human Centipede" are frightening, when in fact, they are little more than childish excursions into sadism.

Oddly, games have traced the path that literature took almost 200 years ago, when two different men both held that Edgar Allen Poe was the greatest writer of all time. H.P. Lovecraft tried to emulate Poe's gothic sensibilities by creating worlds of eldrich beings always trying to break through some threshold or other, and he failed miserably. Charles Baudelaire, on the other hand, took Poe's keen sense of psychology and fused it with the growing existentialist movement, and succeeded in inspiring many of the great writers of the 20th century.

Games are something of the same sort. Silent Hill uses the Baudelaire / Existentialist approach, while the lesser games, even Amnesia: The Dark Descent, take their cues from mere grotesques and jump-out scares.

You have to be DAMN SURE of your statement that Silent Hill 2 is the most frightening game ever when you post analyses like this. Sadly, it is not. In fact, it is the least scary of the first four Silent Hill games. I can see the argument that it has the most emotional punch (although I'd argue that Silent Hill 4 beats it), but Silent Hill 1 beats it in oppressive atmosphere, Silent Hill 3 beats it in straight-up scares, and Silent Hill 4 beats it in plot and story.

It's a great game and a wonderfully brooding story, but scary? No. I don't see why it's so scary to everyone else, either, unless there's a ton of self-hatred in the gaming community- oh. Oh. Got it.

At any rate, you're foolish to ignore the visceral aspect of horror. You can say that it's not about the monsters, but that didn't stop me from falling out of my chair the first time I met an enemy in Amnesia. You can say that sadism is cheap, but that doesn't change the fact that Silent Hill 3 makes me more terrified to continue than any other game. You can say that Lovecraft failed while Baudelaire succeeded, but that doesn't change the fact that Lovecraft is immeasurably more popular and copied. And most importantly, you can say that horror that doesn't directly rub your face in your own hang-ups is "fake horror", but that doesn't mean that Amnesia isn't more outright terrifying in the moment than the Silent Hill series could ever hope to be.

I'll agree with you on jump scares, though. Jump scares only last a second. I'm interested in fear that lasts longer than a second.

I am not foolish to ignore the visceral aspect of horror because there is no visceral aspect of horror. Look, there is a reason we use three different words: Scare, Fright, and Horror. Amnesia was truly frightening, but it can never be truly horrifying because the main character is simply a vehicle for the player to psychologically project onto or out of at will. This is what I meant when I said people often confuse immersion with projection.

The protagonist from SH4 was terrible, simply because he had no personality, an empty template for the blank projection of the player. This can work in games like Zelda, Half-Life, or Portal, but if you want true horror, you are going to have to face the fact that every human being has the capacity to commit terrible crimes, or be wracked with guilt over things they have done in the past that they subconsciously feel the need to be punished for.

A scare is putting a snake in a cupboard and having it jump out at some point. Fright is being chased by an army of snakes. Horror is being convinced that it is possible that you may very well be a snake.

Also, in popular culture, Lovecraft has a huge advantage in influence. Not so in high literature, Baudelaire vastly overpowers Lovecraft in terms of influence, and over time, this will become his advantage in popular culture as well.

I see what you're getting at, but I don't agree with your key examples here.

Amnesia DID, in fact, cover the "You're probably a monster" aspect (pretty well, in fact). Towards the end of the game, more of less every grotesque happening came with a giant "YOUR FAULT" stamped on it. I'm surprised that this didn't get to you, seeing how you're greatly affected by that. I'll admit it's not what scared me about the game, though. "You might be the snake" is not horror for everyone. It certainly doesn't scare me. I'm not a monster, I will never BE a monster in reality, and so being forced into playing one is only marginally confusing to me, not some grand rising feeling of "Oh God, what have I done".

True horror as far as I am concerned is, in your snake example, "completely lost in a world with snakes in it". This is why Silent Hill 3 and 4 really got to me, particularly 4.

Also, Silent Hill 4 was never about the protagonist. It's about a heavily abused and traumatized serial killer. All the monstrosities and nightmarish situations you find yourself in sprang from the killer's mind. The protagonist was supposed to be you, though, you're right about that. While that isn't useful for your version of horror, it's perfect for mine.

You said yourself that good horror is based in psychology. By the same token, you should realize that horror would be subjective, seeing how we're not all psychological clones.

Ryan Hughes:

I really do not care about who made how much money, but Lovecraft blindly parroted Poe's more grotesque sensibilities without understanding the psychological implications and moral metaphors Poe used. Thus, he was a failure.

image

Do not mistake your failure to understand Lovecraft's writing at anything but surface level with some kind of failure on Lovecraft's end.

Dead Space 2 is a third person shooter survival horror title.

Your movement is clunky and slow, you are in complete darkness 95% of the time, reloading for most weapons (before upgrading) is slow, the Necs are fast and can one-hit kill you if your health is in the red, and many times, running away from the swarm of deadly aliens in order to regroup/get a better vantage point is the best option. Also, you can't jump, which, for some reason, is allowed in first person view, even though it is not necessary.

Alan Wake was in third person, pretty much threw all kinds of nope inducing moments your way. I found it scary, horrifying even, it was just so surreal and it was scary not because of just jump scares but the atmosphere. You've got guns, they do nothing but slow them down unless you take the time to burn away the light -- or you can run to a street light to stay out of the darkness, which eventually gives up on you and basically makes you run even more and start panicking because you have no protection from anything.

I remember Clive Barker's Undying scaring the crap out of me when I was younger. First person game.

Clura:

Ryan Hughes:

I really do not care about who made how much money, but Lovecraft blindly parroted Poe's more grotesque sensibilities without understanding the psychological implications and moral metaphors Poe used. Thus, he was a failure.

image

Do not mistake your failure to understand Lovecraft's writing at anything but surface level with some kind of failure on Lovecraft's end.

Right. Look, go to college and get your degree in Literature, then I might take what you say seriously. Until then, do not just blankly assume I do not know what I am talking about.

Ryan Hughes:

Right. Look, go to college and get your degree in Literature, then I might take what you say seriously. Until then, do not just blankly assume I do not know what I am talking about.

It's funny, because that's what I've done. You on the other hand seem insistent on labelling your particular interpretation of an author as an objective truth. This somewhat makes me doubt you've spent any considerable time studying literary theory... or maybe those texts went right over your head as well.

Clura:

Ryan Hughes:

Right. Look, go to college and get your degree in Literature, then I might take what you say seriously. Until then, do not just blankly assume I do not know what I am talking about.

It's funny, because that's what I've done. You on the other hand seem insistent on labelling your particular interpretation of an author as an objective truth. This somewhat makes me doubt you've spent any considerable time studying literary theory... or maybe those texts went right over your head as well.

Right. So, you have a degree in literature, yet you actually use .gifs to make your point, and cannot spell the word "labeling". We can go round and round if you want, but it does not change the fact that Lovecraft's "legacy" is poisonous, reflecting the poor quality of the initial work. I would give an example, but considering that I am speaking of a deficit of meaning, I really cannot do that without writing an essay. If you really were wishing to defend Lovecraft, you would have given specific examples from his work that disproved my point, as a college grad like yourself should be very comfortable doing.

Ryan Hughes:

Right. So, you have a degree in literature, yet you actually use .gifs to make your point, and cannot spell the word "labeling". We can go round and round if you want, but it does not change the fact that Lovecraft's "legacy" is poisonous, reflecting the poor quality of the initial work. I would give an example, but considering that I am speaking of a deficit of meaning, I really cannot do that without writing an essay. If you really were wishing to defend Lovecraft, you would have given specific examples from his work that disproved my point, as a college grad like yourself should be very comfortable doing.

You're a funny fellow. You wouldn't know this, but there is this little island where the language you use originated. People living on the island have strange customs, one of them is that they use the spelling 'labelling'. Crazy, right?

As for my use of an internet meme to convey meaning... well, that would propably go under the heading of code switching. You know, the idea that people use different linguistic registers depending on the setting? Curiously, in me, college did not instill the need to pontificate in formal language on gaming site forums. But then, I also don't have your need to look down on people. (Oh, that famous beloved author is such an artistic failure! Oh, you don't even have a college degree! Oh, you spelled something incorrectly!)

Regarding the rest of your post, suffice to say, that you never really made a point to begin with. You put forth an opinion and then refused to justify it. As a college grad, I know when my time is being wasted.

I have to say that initially, your dismissal of Lovecraft bothered me. However, my opinion of you has been diminished to such a great degree by your last couple of posts that I really do not think it worth my time to continue this discussion.

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